August 16, 2020

Now that I am three weeks post transplant, I wanted to give you a quick update. The surgery went very well.  My new kidney is working better than expected and I am feeling great! 

I had forgotten what it feels like to be healthy. Over the past 5 years, my kidney function had been slowly declining - so slowly that it was hard to notice the difference day to day.  It became absolutely clear how toxic my blood had become when I was teaching Zoom classes during the pandemic closure.  I woul...

June 26, 2020

As a Sensei, my blog entries are typically themed around observations about my experience in the dojo. This entry is different.  I wanted to write a personal note to share a significant upcoming event in my personal life. 

In this blog entry from 2013, I shared how karate training helped me to regain my strength when I had a medical crisis back in 1999.  While my health status is not a secret, I tend not to discuss it in a professional setting, so people are often surprised to find...

April 6, 2018

In the weeks prior to our tournament, our classes are focused on presentation skills so that students know how to prepare and plan for the event.

September 20, 2017

In the 15 years that I have been teaching self-defense, I estimate that I've taught over 1000 individuals.  In that time, my approach to teaching has noticeably evolved.  Not terms of technique - that part hasn't changed much at all - what's different is how I approach the mental aspect of self defense. 

Most self defense programs (including mine) focus on a few basic principles that can be  easily taught to a group without any previous experience. The students learn a few key targ...

May 29, 2017

Recently, I came across an old goju-ryu karate manual that was published in 1982.  The author was a Canadian man; a Nidan who had trained for 15 years at the time the book was published.  The book is filled with high quality photographs of kata moves. It’s quite thorough; with each kata sequence recorded frame by frame, along with a detailed description of each block and strike.  In a time before Youtube, a book like this would be the only way for someone to learn kata moves without direct conta...

March 10, 2016

Before I started on my karate path, I remember having the idea that Black Belts were Masters of Martial Arts.   Of course, once I met my husband (who was a Nidan at the time), he set me straight right away – “a Black Belt just means that you know how to train”, he said “It means that you managed to drag your butt out to the dojo a couple of times a week for a few years”.   What a disappointment!  I was sure that Black Belts held some kind of mystical source of great power, like the in the movies...

April 10, 2015

The secrets of karate are found in its kata. By practicing a system of self-defence principles through repeating different iterations, we form muscle memory and develop knowledge of body mechanics. After years of study, we start to understand the underlying energy that flows through the human body through muscles, nerves and breath. The more we practice, the better we understand.


After years of study, I still have a limited understanding of kata.  It seems as though each technique opens another...

April 23, 2013

When I talk to my karate friends about why they started training, it seems that there are a handful of reasons why people start training: parental influence, inspired by a movie (like Karate Kid), fitness goals, self-defense.  Not me.  I started training for love.  

I met Mike Robertson in my senior year of high school. He was one of the guys on the periphery of my circle of friends; I knew his name, I knew that he was a few years older than me, but not much else.  One of my friends dev...

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Elora Karate Dojo

Sensei Barb Lamble, Head instructor

c/o Elora Centre for the Arts

74 Melville St

Elora ON N0B 1S0

call / text: 519-669-0853